The Jakarta Post
The Surabaya District Court has sentenced Ali Shodiqin, the former junior high school principal of the Surabaya State University Labschool (Labschool Unesa) in the East Java capital, to 10 months in prison after it found him guilty of sexually abusing six students.
The sentence was significantly shorter than the prosecution's demand of six years.
The judges had charged the former principal under Article 281 of the Criminal Code on public indecency, which carries a maximum punishment of 2 years and eight months in prison, reported tribunnews.com.
Prosecutor Novan Arianto had demanded at the start of the trial that the defendant be convicted under Articles 80 and 82 on child abuse and molestation of the 2002 Child Protection Law, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years.
Novan said that the prosecution was still considering whether or not to appeal the sentence. "We have seven days to decide on that matter," he said.
Ali declined to comment on his sentence. "I can only say thank you," he said.
The alleged abuse came to light when the school administered psychological tests for its students, during which five students revealed that they had been abused by Ali, who was then the principal of Labschool Unesa's junior high school division.
One of the students responded that she had been physically abused by Ali, while the other four students said that they had been sexually assaulted.
The East Java Child Protection Agency has urged prosecutors to appeal the sentence, saying that it was essential for law enforcement to use the Child Protection Law in all criminal offenses that targeted children.
"What has happened to the children will potentially traumatize them in the long term. Thus, we must handle [every crime against them] using the appropriate procedure, including providing them with psychological support," the agency's chairwoman, Sri Adiningsih, said on Wednesday.